How To Oil A Kenmore Sewing Machine In 2 Steps

Last Updated on 1 year by Susan Mayrich

There are only two steps, and you’ll master how to oil a Kenmore sewing machine. This article will also share tips for lubricating this brand correctly. But if you’re curious about everything related to oiling a sewing machine, we have a piece you can check out. 

how to oil a kenmore sewing machine

Consider reading this tutorial on how to oil a sewing machine. It includes valuable tricks regarding this maintenance practice, which apply to most units. However, please still consult your model’s manual for specific dos and don’ts. 


How To Oil A Kenmore Sewing Machine At Home


Step 1. Remove lint buildup

  • Study the manual of the specific Kenmore sewing machine model you have
  • The part that discusses lubrication on the manual should have a diagram to help you find the areas that need oiling
  • For some units, you can remove the bobbin case, bobbin holder, and needle plate
  • Use a paintbrush to remove the lint buildup under the needle plate and even the bobbin area
  • Clean off the residual threads
  • Inspect the head of the Kenmore sewing machine and remove any debris inside

You can also check this guide on how to clean a sewing machine since you want to give your Kenmore a thorough clean-up before lubricating the moving parts. 


Step 2. Lubricate the Kenmore sewing machine

  • Target the spots in the manual’s diagram with a bit of oil
  • One to two drops is enough to lubricate the sewing machine’s moving parts
  • Do not use too much oil and never lubricate any sewing machine with other oil types besides a true sewing machine oil that’s made from mineral oil 
  • The areas of the sewing machine prone to friction are usually where you must apply oil
  • Check your Kenmore manual, but you’ll also typically lubricate the area that moves the needle, thread, and bobbin
  • Follow Kenmore’s instructions for uninstalling some parts of the sewing machine to reach and oil them more comfortably
  • Drop the oil in the designated ports of the areas mentioned 
  • Clean the tension disks with floss and construct the sewing machine together
  • Wipe the excess oil and sew on scrap fabric to ensure that you won’t get residue on your project

How Do You Oil A Vintage Kenmore Sewing Machine?

  1. Familiarize yourself with the specific vintage Kenmore unit you have
  2. Clean the Kenmore machine thoroughly before lubricating the designated oil ports
  3. You can oil the ports of the motor of some vintage models 
  4. Remove and clean the bobbin case
  5. Take off the needle plate to access the feed dogs much more comfortably
  6. Replace the gear grease of the vintage sewing machine
  7. Oil the moving areas under the top cover 
  8. Lubricate the gear
  9. Sew without a thread and check the linkages if you’ve oiled them sufficiently by testing the machine with the stitch selection knob

How Often Should I Oil My Kenmore Sewing Machine?

Your usage will dictate how often you must lubricate your Kenmore sewing machine. You can oil the Kenmore sewing machine typically every four to six months, but it may be earlier or later depending on usage and storage. You may also want to lubricate more if the moving parts are exposed to sunlight or low humidity to keep the machine working smoothly. 


Does A Kenmore Sewing Machine Need To Be Oiled?

It’s best to check your Kenmore sewing machine’s manual to know if the brand recommends lubrication for maintenance. Some units may not need oiling, while others require the grease to work smoothly. For machines that need oiling, it is vital because the moving parts are exposed to friction. 

One of the crucial techniques to learn how to unfreeze a sewing machine is proper oiling. Without the lubrication, the moving parts will be worn down quicker, which will affect the machine’s performance and longevity. However, you should also only oil the parts Kenmore recommends to avoid doing more harm than good. 


How Do You Know If Your Sewing Machine Needs Oil?

  • Noises and delays in the performance of the sewing machine
  • The sewing machine is stored and not used for a long time
  • Frequent usage of the sewing machine
  • Lack of lubrication confirmed by visually checking and touching the moving parts of the sewing machine

Where Do I Oil My Sewing Machine?

It would be best to read the manual of the specific sewing machine model you have regarding lubrication. The manufacturer will have a diagram so you’ll know where to make one to three drops of oil. You also don’t want to accidentally oil a sewing machine with nylon bearings or those with pre-lubricated bearing casings since they don’t require oiling for maintenance. 

In general, the areas of the sewing machine with movement will need lubrication. They may include the bobbin winder shaft, around the bobbin case, and the needle bar. On the contrary, never lubricate the bobbin winder ring, motor belts, handwheel, and tension discs, as the New Mexico State University stated.  



And that’s it! To recap how to oil a Kenmore sewing machine, you must inspect the manual and clean it beforehand. Then, check the manual’s diagram on where to oil the unit and if you must even oil it in the first place.

Remember that oiling is vital to keep the machine running and also last long. We hope this was a helpful read; feel free to leave us a comment. 


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